European Commission launches EU missions to tackle major challenges

European Commission launches EU missions to tackle major challenges

The European Commission launched on 29 September five new EU missions, a new and innovative way to work together and improve the lives of people in Europe and beyond. EU missions aim to tackle big challenges in health, climate and the environment, and to achieve ambitious and inspiring goals in these areas.

A novelty of Horizon Europe and also an original concept in EU policy, bringing together several Commission services under the authority of nine College members, missions will support research to deliver on the Commission’s main priorities and find responses to some of the greatest challenges we are facing today: fighting cancer, adapting to climate change, protecting the ocean, seas and waters, living in greener cities and ensuring healthy soil and food. They are a new tool that includes a set of actions, such as research and innovation projects, policy measures and legislative initiatives, to achieve concrete goals with large societal impact and within a specified timeline. Five missions will aim to deliver solutions to key global challenges by 2030:

  1. Adaptation to Climate Change: support at least 150 European regions and communities to become climate resilient by 2030;
  2. Cancer: working with Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan to improve the lives of more than 3 million people by 2030 throughprevention, cure and solutions to live longer and better;
  3. Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030;
  4. 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030;
  5. A Soil Deal for Europe: 100 living labs and lighthouses to lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030.

Adaptation to Climate Change: support at least 150 European regions and communities to become climate resilient by 2030.This mission will turn the urgent challenge of adapting to climate change into an opportunity to make Europe resilient, fair and prepared to deal with climate disruptions, such as extreme weather, wildfires and infectious diseases. The mission will support European regions to be prepared for the inevitable changes and extreme events and share experiences and solutions to prevent loss of lives and livelihoods.

Cancer: improving the lives of more than 3 million people by 2030 through prevention, cure and for those affected by cancer including their families, to live longer and better. The mission will support Member States, regions and communities on cancer control, even more so in light of the disruptive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will enhance understanding of cancer, boost prevention, optimise diagnosis and treatment, improve quality of lives of patients and their families and ensure equitable access to care across Europe. The mission will put citizens, including patients, at the centre of research and innovation, and research and innovation at the centre of policy development.

Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030: Man-made, climate-driven changes are putting our ocean and waters and consequently our societies at a serious risk. The mission’s new, systemic approach will address the ocean and waters as one and play a key role in achieving climate neutrality and restoring nature. The mission will help achieve the EU objectives of protecting 30% of the EUs sea area as well as restoring marine eco-systems and 25.000 km of free flowing rivers, prevent and eliminate pollution by reducing plastic litter at sea, nutrient losses and use of chemical pesticides by 50% and make the blue economy climate-neutral and circular with net-zero maritime emissions.

100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030: Producing more than 70% of global CO2 emissions, cities play a pivotal role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050. At least 100 cities will be supported to become climate-neutral by 2030. They will develop in close cooperation with citizens, Climate City Contracts that will detail the strategy for deploying and monitoring innovative and digital solutions for reaching climate neutrality. They will lead in climate innovation and demonstrate carbon-reducing solutions that will enable all other cities to follow suit by 2050.

A Soil Deal for Europe: 100 living labs and lighthouses to lead the transition towards healthy soils by 2030Life on Earth depend on healthy soils, but they are under threat all over the world. In Europe, 60%-70% of soils are considered to be unhealthy, making us more vulnerable to food insecurity and extreme weather events. The mission will engage with people and create effective partnerships across sectors and territories to protect and restore soils in Europe and beyond. It will contribute to 4 Green Deal targets relating to sustainable farming, climate resilience, biodiversity and zero-pollution.

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